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Old 06-13-2012, 07:22 AM   #1
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Can someone help me understand my MRI results??

I am a 29 year old, stay at home mom of three children. I don't know of any injury to my back but have been complaining of leg pain for most of my life. The pain in my legs and lower back has been increasing so I finally decided to seek a solution. I don't understand any of this, can anyone please help?

Findings:
L5-S1 demonstrates signal loss from the intervertebral disc on T2-weighted images. The is disc space narrowing. Axial examination demonstrates a focal extrusion on the left with dorsal displacement of S1 within the lateral recess. There does not appear to be significant central spinal stenosis. There also is a foraminal compromise on the left side with possible nerve root impingement in the intervertebral nueral foramen but not definitive nerve root compression. There are type I Modic changes in the adjacent end-plates at L5 and S1. The other intervertebral discs are normal. Conus position is satisfactory. There is no intradural mass suggested.

Impression:
Disc degenerative change at L5-S1 with a focal extrusion on the left. There is a left lateral recess compromise with dorsal displacement of S1 within the left lateral recess. There is a forminal compromise with possible nerve root impingement affecting L5 in the intervertebral neural on the left side.

Last edited by rk99; 06-13-2012 at 07:59 AM.

 
Old 06-13-2012, 10:40 PM   #2
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Re: Can someone help me understand my MRI results??

Hi there -- welcome! Well, one possible reason for your leg pain is the extrusion at L5-S1. In layman's terms, this disc is very sad.

L5-S1 is the lowest level of your lumbar spine, where it transitions to the sacrum. Part of your disc has extruded (this is usually the nucleus pushing through the outer layers of the disc -- called the annulus).

The disc material is in the foramem (foraminal compromise). The foramen is the part of the vertabrae through which the nerves exit the spine and go out to the different areas of the body. So, your nerves are being impinged (pinched), which could be causing your leg pain. If look at a dermatome map, it will show which parts of the body are ennervated by the nerves at each level of the spine. If your leg pain is on the left and corresponds to the L5-S1 region, then that is a likely culprit.

Remember that the posts are not intended to be medical advice, but hopefully my explanation of some of these terms will allow you to do some research and be ready with questions for your next doctor's appointment. If you have questions about how doctors typically treat this condition, the usual protocol is short-term oral steroids, physical therapy, epidural steroid injection, then consider surgery.

If you have any leg weakness or bowel or bladder function loss, call your doctor immediately. These could be signs of cauda equina syndrome, which is considered a medical emergency.

 
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Old 06-14-2012, 05:49 AM   #3
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Re: Can someone help me understand my MRI results??

Thank you for your help. I am going to see a neurosurgeon in a couple of weeks and I feel more prepared now. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain this to me =)

 
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